• Toys and Gifts That Are Bad for Your Toddler's Health

    by Dr. Payal Bhandari
    on Dec 13th, 2016

Toys are supposed to be fun and part of a child’s development, but every year many kids end up in the emergency room due to toy-related accidents.

The safety of toys is regulated and monitored by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Manufacturers need to comply with the rules and regulations set out by the CPSC, which includes the kinds of materials allowable as well as labeling their products correctly. Labels should include the materials used and appropriate ages for toys.

But even though these regulations are in place, some unsafe toys still slip through the cracks. As a parent, you need to select the right toys for your kid carefully – a safety recall on a defect toy may be too late.

Here are some dangers to look out for and guidelines you can follow when choosing gifts for children:

Toys That Are Choking Hazards

Small toys and small children don’t go together – toddlers put everything they see into their mouths. If the objects are too small, they can get caught in the toddler’s throat and restrict breathing. Only buy products appropriate for your child’s age, but beware that some manufacturers market their products to children that are too young.

Here are some easy guidelines to follow to avoid choking hazards:

Toys Containing Hazardous Chemicals

Some toys contain hazardous materials that is harmful to your children and cause illness.

Please beware of the following chemical hazards:

An alternative to these above toys are toys made from wood. Choose wooden toys that are not chemically treated in any way.  Just watch out for splinters with extended use.

Read the label and follow these tips when buying toys:

Toys That Make Loud Sounds

Some toys can be extremely loud and damage your child’s hearing. Some battery-driven toy guns can create noises between 110-135 dB, while noise levels of robots and music boxes are often between 85-95 dB. This is alarming since many workplaces provide their employees with hearing protection if noises are above 85 dB.

Make sure you choose toys that are not too loud for your child’s hearing. With repeated exposure to these noises, especially when they hold toys close to their ears, your child may struggle with hearing issues their whole life. Allowing loud toys also teaches children that it is okay not to look after their hearing health as they grow up.

Hazardous Edible Gifts

Food gifts can also pose health hazards to children. Many children today are intolerant to nuts, dairy, and sugar.  Try to avoid giving candy and foods with these items since they may cause many children to become ill.

Conclusion

These guidelines will go a long way to help you choose the safest toys and gifts for children. Remember that even when you buy products that are safe for your child, things might still go wrong. A baby or toddler might get hold of their older sibling’s toys that are unsafe to them. It is best to always supervise play to make sure accidents don’t happen and teach your children to pack their toys away after play.

If you’re not sure whether the gifts you’re considering buying for your child are safe, get in contact with Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. for more tips on choosing safe toys and gifts.

Author Dr. Payal Bhandari Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is a leading practitioner of integrative and functional medicine in San Francisco.

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